Blackhawks pipped at the post by Bears

Monday, July 18, 2016

It was a match that lived up to every expectation with the Townsville & Districts Mendi Blackhawks going down in an absolute nail biter to the ladder-leading Burleigh Bears.

The match could not have been any closer with both teams finishing on four tries a piece. All that separated them was an extra penalty goal for the Bears and two missed conversions from the Mendi Blackhawks.

Despite a huge forward pack and some classy work from the Burleigh halves the Mendi Blackhawks held strong for the first 36 minutes of the match. Defending impressively through an onslaught of Bears attack and also putting themselves in prime position with a 10-0 lead.

The first try of the match coming from a Bowen kick and an exceptional Delouise Hoeter grab, is certain to make the highlights reel. The second try came from a barging Lorenzo Maafu, who had no business getting over the line but managed to reach out and score just the same.

After controlling much of the first half, a lapse in concentration for the Mendi Blackhawks led to two quick tries just before half time to put the Bears in the lead 12-10 heading to the break.

The Bears continued their form after half time scoring again in the 44th minute to extend their lead to 18-10.

It took a special solo effort from Michael Parker-Walshe to get the Mendi Blackhawks back into the match as he chipped and chased for himself to eventually put Moses Pangai over in the corner. Pangai crossed again nine minutes later after Parker-Walshe combined with Matty Bowen to give the home side a 20-18 lead.

The lead didn’t last long as the Bears took advantage of a penalty kick right in front to level things up at 20-20 and set up a grandstand finish.

What followed was heartbreak for the Mendi Blackhawks and celebration for the visitors when Luke Page crossed to seal things up 26-20 just over 2 minutes from full time.

It was an impressive effort from the home side which saw all hands on deck, including Head Strength and Conditioning trainer Daniel Strickland who made a return to the Intrust Super Cup following a 9-year break.

Forwards Corey Jensen and Lorenzo Maafu were outstanding. In the face of a much larger opposition both players made big metres and were instrumental in getting the home side up the field.

Coach Kristian Woolf was proud of the effort from his players “It was just a few crucial errors at crucial times that let us down. I thought we controlled the game well for the most part.

“We had a great start to the match against an opposition who are leading the competition. It was a very even match; we certainly weren’t far away.

“We have a very classy football side. If we play to our potential in the coming rounds I am sure we will be playing finals footy.” He said.

This weekend sees the Mendi Blackhawks on the road to Mount Isa to take on the CQ Capras as they embark on Get in the Game Country Week.


Images Courtesy of Alix Sweeney – © Alix Sweeney 2016